What is the Office of Net Assessment (ONA)?

The Office of Net Assessment (ONA) is a tiny independent think-tank whose remit was to compare the capabilities of the United States and its enemies in weaponry, troop training, efficiency, spending, deployment, planning, decision-making, readiness and any other point of variance. These painstaking assessments, highly classified, sparingly distributed and compiled at a rate of only… Read More

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Water Sauce of Conflict!

The Pacific Institute, a think-tank based in Oakland in California, USA, Suggests there are three types of water-based violence: Sometimes water itself can be used as a weapon, as when China in 1938 breached dykes along the Yellow River to repel the Japanese army, or, just last year al-Shabaab, a terrorist group, diverted water from… Read More

What is Dynamic Force Employment (DFE)?

The most significant element of the NDS [National Defence Strategy], says Mr Shanahan, is “dynamic force employment” (DFE in mil-speak). That refers to moving forces around the world quickly and unpredictably to bamboozle adversaries. Last year, for instance, the USS Harry S. Truman, an aircraft-carrier that usually hangs around the Middle East, was abruptly called… Read More

Corporate Mercenaries: Are They a Threat?

Corporate mercenaries are known by a number of names: Private military companies; Private security companies; Military contractors; Mercenaries; and Private military and security companies (PMSC’s). “War is one of the chief causes of poverty. War can completely undermine a country’s development prospects, destroying schools and hospitals and putting agricultural land out of use for years… Read More

The Best & Most Influential Military Work…

“The best and most influential military work was Bingfa (The Art of War), a short book by Sun Zi (Sun Tzu). His strategies dominate the thirteen chapters, and his goal, winning the battle, underlies the whole book. The Art of War is the first important work on strategy and theory in world military history. Michael… Read More

The Estimate Process for Non-Combat Decision-Making

Introduction There are many of us in the RAF who have never heard of the Estimate and others who have heard of it but have not had any tuition in its use. As a result, it is often considered something of a ‘black art’ and strictly for the use of senior personnel who are involved… Read More

What was Project Popeye?

Ok, so the name Project Popeye is slightly misleading, as it is not about some sailor eating spinach and having super strength. During the Vietnam war in the 1960s, US forces attempted to use cloud seeding to make the Ho Chi Minh Trail impassable, in Vietnam, an effort known as Project Popeye (Hambling, 2018). It failed, but a… Read More